I subscribed to Globe Unlimited over the past winter break. For the uninitiated, it’s a Globe and Mail product that offers full access to the newspaper, the Globe’s Report on Business, its Politics and Business Insider sections, and a few analytical baubles that typically don’t appear in the newspaper. I decided to take the leap when a paywall appeared, denying me access to a feature I had taken the time (about four seconds) to track down. It told me that, for just 99 cents a week (for the first four weeks), I would be able to read everything that the Globe had to offer me. After the first month, the total would add up to $4.47—slightly more than your average latte. Reasonable, I thought, and I figured that I could do all the reading I wanted during that month and cancel the subscription once the initial 99-cent offer expired.

Naturally—and with no great amount of reading done—I forgot about this plan until a $27.07 charge marked “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON” appeared on my credit card statement. Alarmed, in part because of the uppercase font my credit card company had decided to use, I started searching the Globe website for an unsubscribe button. Of course, when you open an article, there’s no convenient pop-up that asks if you’re still happy paying $27.07 a month for a service you barely use. Without any luck finding the link to unsubscribe, I eventually got distracted by another task.

Another month goes by. I open the banking application on my phone and see that the amount owing is higher than I thought it would be. I tap on the Visa balance and read, “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON.” Another $27.07 charge. This time, I make more of an effort to find the unsubscribe button—that surely must exist, right? I go to the “Help” section and scroll through (seemingly) hundreds of FAQs. Unsuccessful again, I make a mental note to call the customer service line in the morning.

It is now March and the mental note I left for myself has long been washed away in the turbulent sea that is my brain. I open my credit card statement. “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON.” Another $27.07. At this point, I’m thinking that the Globe is an evil, money-sucking leech that has trapped me into a perpetual cycle; an unkind thought that probably isn’t entirely accurate.

In April, I get fed up. I Google “how to unsubscribe from the globe unlimited” and find a helpful page. “To cancel your Globe Unlimited subscription, please contact our Customer Care team at: 1-855-813-6111,” read the Globe’s webpage. I try not to think about the amount of time and money I could have saved had I typed that phrase into my search bar months earlier, and I dial the number. “Thank you for calling the Globe Unlimited customer care centre,” said the automated voice. After speaking with two different people, I was offered a 25 percent discount on the service (for 24 weeks), a Saturday newspaper subscription, and, soon after, a 50 percent discount (an offer I actually pondered for a second before I realized that was how I fell into the trap in the first place). I was assured that the words “THE GLOBE AND MAIL TORONTO, ON” would no longer appear on my credit card statement.

Once I hung up the phone, I felt a bit of unsubscriber’s remorse. What if it publishes a feature that gets everyone talking, and I won’t be able to partake in the conversation? At that point, I suppose I could use another credit card to take advantage of the Globe’s 99-cent offer.

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5 comments
  1. Its a scam. AN online account…….that canèt be cancelled online. ANd you have to google cancellation to find a boiler room telephone to call. The Globe is not a National Newspaper. It is a National Scam…….

  2. I mean… you didn’t think of googling that the FIRST time around? I agree with you – it’s total BS that there is no way to unsubscribe on their site, but the multiple CC charges – that part is squarely on you.

  3. This exact same thing has happened to me; been meaning to cancel for a few months now, but it’s just too frustratingly hard to cancel. Logging into the account reveals only payment and billing details; they have a bunch of different steps to cancel your Globe2Go and GlobeInvestorGold accounts, but those are different products compared to Globe Unlimited.

    I even created an account on their subscriber portal, which was able to locate my account details, but still no way to unsubscribe.

    Finally located their number by Googling, but that website was hosted on the happyfox.com website, so it looked suspicious. Called the number anyway, and their customer support is of course closed for the day. They sure go out of their way to keep your money. Hopefully I will remember to call them tomorrow…

  4. The Globe and Mail IS evil. We have been subscribers for 20 years. We are typically away for 3 or 4 trips totaling 12-16 weeks a year and have always placed our subscription on hold while we are away. The Globe always advised us that any suspensions would be added to our “paid-up” subscription time. Yet, when checking, our account always seemed to be paid only to the end of the month. Today, after many years of this continuing assumption on our part, the Globe advised they changed their suspension policy in 2015. They no longer credit subscribers for suspensions of less than four weeks. In other words, you pay for 27 days of papers you don’t receive. They were “unable” to do anything about the past 3 years of undelivered papers.

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